Don't mess with Ronda Rousey's boyfriend.
That's the message from the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship fight night as Rousey watched from ringside as her beau, Travis Browne, left opponent Matt Mitrione with a horrendous swollen eye.
Browne easily won the heavyweight clash in Boston on Sunday (NZ time) but it was the massive "egg" over Mitrione's right eye that has been the talking point since.
Mitrione was twice poked in the eye by Browne, who won by a technical knockout in the third round.
Controversially, Browne was not deducted a point and insisted both incidents had been accidental.
The first incident happened in the dying seconds of the first round but Mitrione recovered to continue.
Browne then caught him in the same eye again, however, this time with his thumb, but the 37-year-old was again cleared to fight on.
"It's one of those things where it's an accident," said Browne, who is the longtime boyfriend of Rousey, the UFC's highest-profile female fighter.
"If you watch the fight, it's not like I'm moving toward him trying to paw at him and poke his eye.
"Every time he would jump in on me I would try to back up. [In the] third round I think I finally started closing my fist. It's just part of the game, I guess. There's no malicious intent behind it.
"I don't think it was something that needed to be a point taken away. I wasn't moving forward. I wasn't going after it. That's why a referee is in there. He warned me on the last time. He's like, 'Next time I'm taking a point.'
"I did what I could do to not let that happen again. It was an accident. I don't know what to say.
"I was apologising up and down to Matt because that's not my game, I'm not a dirty fighter.
"Even in the fight, I'm like saying, 'Matt, I'm really sorry, I promise you I'm not trying to do that', and he's like, 'Dude, I'm jumping in on you, it just happens'.
"I'm a perfectionist, so I'm not extremely happy about that fight. It's a win against a very unorthodox, tricky kind of guy. His movements just threw me off. He'd throw his left and duck his head. It was kind of a funky fight. It's hard to really look good against that guy."
UFC president Dana White insisted the injury was a result of a punch.
"They showed it on the instant replay in slow motion," he said.
"Before he hit him, the eye was fine. When he hit him, the eye just started to swell and blow up."
Mitrione was competing in the final fight of his UFC contract and could now be forced to join another organisation.
- Daily Mail